I've been excited about this book since Walker Books did their Bloggers Events (not read that, read it here!) where the people from Walker and the author himself, Edward Hogan, chatted about it and I thought it sounded right up my street. But then I discovered that the setting of the Daylight Saving is held at a Center Parcs type resort and all I could think of was "Am going to Center Parcs in a few months time! That can't be good..."
When Daniel goes to Leisure World Holiday Complex with his dad, his exceptions are low. He doesn't like sport and he's uncomfortable with his body. And let's not get started on his dad's issues. So when Daniel meets Lexi, a mysterious girl, by the lake, things look like they're on the up. She's smart and makes him laugh. But, is it his imagination or does Lexi's wounds look worse every time they meet? And why does Lexi wear a watch that goes backwards?
Now, I feel I have to say this before I go any further. When you hear the words "Thriller Ghost Story", you imagine a fast and scary read involving ghosts, right? Well, Daylight Saving isn't that. If anything, Edward came to this seeing it in a different way and, because of that, it's quite a refreshing read.
I mean, I was expecting something like the above, but instead, I had two stories unfolding side-by-side and each took their gentle time to unfold. No rushing - a bonus! First, you have Daniel and his family problems. And second, you have Daniel and Lexi's friendship unfold (and yes, it is a friendship, not a instant "I'm in love with you" that happening more and more in YA paranormals).
And this story, I think, won't sit well with some YA-paranormal readers. But, when I read this, it didn't feel like a paranormal read. There was something natural about it, and I think that's quite interesting for Edward to do. To make something paranormal quite normal. And this, for me, is one of the reasons I found this book compelling. I just wanted more.
Another thing that's cool is Daniel himself. He's not your typical male lead in a YA paranormal. He's not hot or good-looking or stereotypical. Daniel worries about his family, his weight and he has flaws (nose-picking to cause a nosebleed, for example) but, throughout the course of the book, he grows and becomes a strong character.
Lexi... I liked her but there were times I thought "Huh? A seventeen year old won't know that, would they?" (which threw me out of the story sometimes) but she was an interesting, if sometimes complex, character.
This book isn't perfect, I'm going to admit that (the use of & amount of times the word "said" was used will have English teachers up and down the country tearing their hair out! [and yet, I think I get why Edward did it]), but there was something compelling about it. Something that had me up till half past midnight and go "Ok, I have to stop now! I need to sleep!"
I like this book. There's something understated and quietly-compelling about Daylight Saving. And I say to you, if you're going to read it, go to it with an open mind and it might surprise you.